A report published by Nielsen stated that even though people 65 and older still make up less than 10 percent of the active Internet universe, their numbers are on the rise. In the last five years, the number of seniors actively using the Internet has increased by more than 55 percent, from 11.3 million active users in November 2004 to 17.5 million in November 2009. Go Nana!
Not only are the number of seniors on the rise, so is the amount of time they are spending online. According to Nielsen, they spent just over 58 hours per month online in 2009, up from 52 hours per month in November 2004.
Even more interesting is how Nana (or Grandpa!) are spending their online time. You guessed it- they are checking e-mail, sharing photos- just like the rest of us. Not surprisingly, they are also researching health issues, planning travel and checking the weather.
So where might Nana be spending her time you ask? Again- the same place as you are! Google, Facebook...
So while this may not be a surprise to most, we felt it necessary to point out for a few reasons. When considering your web designs and marketing campaigns, if Nana or Grandpa are part of your target audience, remember these few tips:
- Nana has a hard time seeing small type. Keep your font large enough for her to easily read. Black type, white background, no sans-serf typefaces.
- Nana is not impressed with flashy logos, spinning imagery. She is especially not impressed when it makes the page load even longer (and neither is Google by the way). In fact, she is likely to keep clicking the refresh button because she thinks maybe the computer is not working right.
- Nana might be impatient. She wants you to get to the point, and get to it quickly. Again, make sure your calls to action are easy for her to find in bold bright colors and clear language.
- Nana hates long forms. We all do. Enough said.
- Nana likes assurances and guarantees. She really likes an evident phone number to call if she runs into problems. To delight her, make sure the phone is answered by a person. (Who speaks very clear English and has a lot of patience.)
As we always say, it is not enough to know WHO your audience is. Know what perspective they are operating from, and plan your marketing to delight them.
What suggestions do you have to make the web more Nana friendly?